Posts Tagged ‘Millennials’

Don’t Call us Generation Y

October 17, 2008

I am sick to death of my generation being called Generation Y. It’s like the egocentric geniuses of Generation X couldn’t figure out that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and thought that any successor to them must in some way relate to them. And what’s the next letter in the alphabet? “Y” is the next letter in the alphabet. You are after us and therefore you are “Y.”

When asked to comment for this blog, one Generation X-er responded, “Why Generation Y? Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.”

Don’t call us Generation Y. Don’t call us the Echo Boomers. And don’t call us the Millennials.

The millennium just happened to be a date that we lived through, not a defining characteristic.

The Echo Boomers is just offensive. We don’t even rank as the voice, no, we’re it’s echo. You might try and draw a correlation between our birth rates versus the baby boomers, but, actually, don’t.

There are so many things wrong with Generation Y, it unnerves me that it has gained any sort of momentum in the media. Again, Generation Y implies that we are just the next generation after Generation X, like we don’t deserve our own distinction.

“Y” implies, at least homophonetically (yeah, that’s an awesome new word), the interrogative “why.” Which my sister pointed out (she’s a Gen X-er), “Yeah, as in, “why” were you born?” Which she thought very clever, and proceeded to laugh herself into a tizzy.

The letter “Y” is also the signifier for the chromosome that differentiates a male from a female. We don’t want our generation associated with the limited misogynistic view that somehow we are a male generation, or patriarchy. I’d like to think that in my lifetime, we’ll see the further breakdown of the male/female disparity experienced in the work place. Look at the students in medical and law school, you’ll see that my generation is making significant gains in equality in workplaces normally dominated by the masculine, although, there is still the glass ceiling to dispose of.

In short, there are very few reasons to be called Generation Y, and quite a few reasons NOT to be distinguished as such. It’s a lazy label given to a generation who was too young to have defined themselves.

In fact, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t be defined until well after our time had come and gone. It is up to the historians to look back on our contributions to society, to the earth, science, politics, etc. and then come up with an all-encompassing name for us.

However, since the media insists on labels, let me offer some alternatives to Generation Y. Why? Because I like you (saw that one coming, huh?):

The Communication Generation

OR

The Information Generation

Besides the obvious assonance and consonance that make those two monikers roll so easily off the tongue, there is a good reason behind these assignments.

In fact, what I am doing now is a great jumping off point for this discussion. Right now, just like most of my generation, I am sitting at home in front of my home computer (97% of us have personal computers), using the internet to communicate.

Of course, communication takes many different forms. Just thinking about ways of contacting any number of my friends, I could; post this blog, use a social networking site to message them, write on their virtual wall, comment on their status, instant message them, text them, call them, use twitter, email them etc. (Woah, you want to meet in person? Why don’t you just ding me on TeamSpeak and we’ll WoW) The point is, at any given point in a day, you will be able to find us, contact us, or track us via our cell phones. Yes, it’s much like an electronic leash… and the government could use all of these things to become Big Brother, but at this point, fuck it, we’ll take that risk.

Generation X may have been the first generation with a video game system and a personal computer, but our video games and computers talk to each other.

We are the first generation to be completely immersed in the technological revolution. We suckled at the technological teat, if you will. Even if you won’t, it still happened.

For most of us, an encyclopedia is a far inferior tool to the internet.

To us, the world is much smaller.

Although, to be fair, technology isolates us as much as it brings us together. Different communities have formed based on this new, anonymous form of communication, but we’ll take it. It gives us the chance to exchange ideas with people all over the world. To get unbiased and biased news from many different sources. It allows us a freedom unknown to the generations before ours.

I expect big things from my generation, and eventually I hope that we are remembered for our deeds as much as our culture, but for now, call us the Communication Generation, because nothing else makes sense.